Animal Farm Speech Comparison

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In the book titled “Animal Farm”, written by George Orwell, character Old Major wakes up in the manor farm barn from having a revolutionary dream. This dream sparks a motive to announce to the rest of the animals what needs to be said. Everyone is gathered, Old Major stands up in front of them all, and voices an incredible speech describing his dream and what had to be said. Old Major’s objective was to encourage a revolution of rebel and overthrow against all human beings, or at least in there case, it was Jones, the owner of manor farm. This speech causes a chain reaction of events in which the animals end up winning the farm and re-naming it “Animal farm”. Nelson Mandela has also achieved a similar outcome, in which they both win their revolutions. Nelson Mandela was the President of South Africa from 1994-1999 and became the first black president by doing so. All would not have happened, if it weren’t for his persistence, and revolutionary speeches against ratialism, and one specifically, titled “I am prepared to die” in 1964, targeting of course world ratialism. But what exactly was so great about these speeches that made such an impact in the outcome of their situations?

Old Major’s speech begins with “Comrades”. By saying this at the beginning gives a sign of trust and embracement to the animals before him. The speech goes into much detail and clarity on the message that he wants to get across. This clarity is definitely needed, for his audience members range of intelligence varies from “clever or simple”. A close look at this detail would show the persuasive devices imbedded into the speech for major effect on the audience. The way George Orwell has imbedded these devices, shows simple effective flow and tidiness in the way Old Major speaks. This brings simplicity and ease to the audience by making it straightforward, and not hard to follow for the “simple”. Having said that, Old Major also attacks some of his peers, verbally of course. An attack is a persuasive device used to manipulate or make fun of said person or group, to change perspective on a viewpoint. Old Major targets “…cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone.” But more specifically the pigs, the dogs, and singles out boxer the horse. He starts broad by saying “no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end.” “animal” being the indirect word towards everyone. “You young porkers who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will scream your lives out at the block within a year.” “You, Boxer, that very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds. As for the dogs, when they grow old and toothless, Jones ties a brick around their necks and drowns them in the nearest pond.” Two recurring factors in these attacks. “You”, and death. “Scream your lives out” refers to death which strikes fear into the pigs. This brings out the seriousness of the speech, and helps make the speech leave a mark on the audience mind. It’s a way of addressing that this isn’t a joke an “you” need to listen to what I’m saying, or Jones will kill you.

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On the 20th of April ,1964, Nelson Mandela voiced a three hour long speech in Pretoria South Africa on his trial for sabotage, treason, and conspiring to overthrow South African government. Mandela’s principle goals in his statement were to correct false information introduced by a witness and the state. To explain the relationship between the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe. To clarify the relationship of the communist party with the ANC and Umkhonto and to describe and justify the objectives and methods of Umkhonto. He succeeds to do these things over the three hour period and by doing so reduces his jail sentence from life, to 27 years on Robben island. This speech is well recognised as Mandela’s “I am prepared to die”. The last four paragraphs sum up most of the entirety of his speech and may be the most influential moments of the full three hours. “Above all”, addresses the speech is coming to an end and the summary will start. “…we want equal political rights because with out them, our disabilities will be permanent”. Mandela uses “disabilities” to represent the African colour, which makes it sound like it is bad to be African. This is appeal to the opposition. “Permanent” is emotive language as a permanent disability would be a misfortune for the African people. “I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy.” “Fear” is an example of emotive language, but is also a degrading opinion on the whites which may make some Africans feel more empowered and encouraged to feel the same as Mandela. He then counters that argument by “…this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all.” He does this because he doesn’t want black domination. He wants “racial harmony” between all races which links back to his opening line, “we want equal political rights.”

The two speeches compare and contrast in many interesting ways. Old Major’s intention is to overthrow, live for themselves, and inform that humans are bad. But Nelson Mandela seeks “racial harmony”. This means “equal”rather than one better than the other. Although, equality is also strongly demonstrated in animal farm as well. While Old Major was speaking, four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on their hindquarters, listening to him. The dogs had suddenly caught sight of them, and it was only by a swift dash for their holes that the rats saved their lives. Major raised his trotter for silence, then proposed the question, “Are rats comrades?” It was put to a vote and a large majority voted yes and just like that rats were a part of Animal Farm. “All animals are equal.” The fact that Old Major put it to a vote shows democracy, similar to what Nelson Mandela’s speech asks for. Another major similarity, is the appeal to patriotism. Both Od Major’s and Nelson Mandela’s speech display appeal to patriotism qualities. In Nelson Mandela’s speech, he appeals to the ANC that he was apart of by saying that the “ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism.” Then says “When it triumphs it will not change that policy.” The “when” shows strong confidence in the African National Congress’s goal for peace, and that confidence is the appeal to patriotism. During the dream that Old Major had, he says to have remembered a song that the animals in his young lifetime used to sing. He shows it to them and they begin to chant it. This is appeal to patriotism because the song is called “Beasts of England.” And the main lyrics of the song sing “Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland, beast of every land and clime, Hearken to my joyful tidings of the good future time.” Clear display of pride in ones country. When they sing this song, it brings the mood up, and everyone joins in, meaning they all become patriots for animal kind.

So what exactly makes these two speeches so great? The answer to this question is dependant on the amount of persuasive devices used. They both use the equality and appeal to patriotism to get their messages across. But they also differ in other areas like Old Major plays on the way he speaks. He starts soft and welcoming to his fellow animals, but then when addresses the reason for his speech, he switches off the niceness for the perfect amount of time for his attack, and then switches back. And Mandela uses emotive language for greater effect on the audience. In the end both speeches made a huge effect on the outcome of their situations. Although Old Major died, his deliverance ended up causing the animals to rebel and win over the farm, and even though Nelson Mandela still went to prison for 27 years, his statement at the end of his three hour speech definitely would have put an impact on the white man. “But if needs be, it is an ordeal, for which I am prepared to die for” 


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